LA Tech handles Old Dominion, 11-3

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RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team saw a strong pitching performance from starter David Leal, and four RBI each from Steele Netterville and Parker Bates, en route to an 11-3 triumph over Old Dominion in front of 1,376 at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park on Thursday evening.

“It was good to see our guys come out focused and get after it tonight,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “Our guys got big hits, and put together some quality at-bats, so we didn’t have to go deep into the bullpen tonight, which was key. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night. We’ll honor our five seniors out here, so that should be special. We have to carry this intensity over to tomorrow, because I know how well-coached Old Dominion is.”

Leal (4-3) was masterful for the Bulldogs (36-18, 19-9 C-USA) all evening, needing only 76 pitches to complete seven innings of work. The southpaw allowed a solo home run from Old Dominion’s (15-35, 7-20 C-USA) Brian Morley in the second inning, but stymied the Monarchs outside of that. The Houston, Texas, native scattered just four hits, while striking out four and walking none on an extremely efficient outing.

Tech was led offensively by four RBI each from freshman Steele Netterville and reigning Conference USA Hitter of the Week Parker Bates.

Netterville got the scoring started for the ‘Dogs in the bottom of the first, as he smoked his fifth home run of the year deep into left centerfield, scoring Taylor Young, who had led off the frame with a walk.

Then, in the third, with Tech owning a 2-1 lead, Bates joined the action, smashing his third home run of the year, another two-run shot, to right, extending the Bulldog lead to 4-1.

Tech chased Old Dominion starter Luke Krantz (1-2) in the fourth inning, after a single from Huddleston, and walks from both Mason Robinson and Young loaded the bases with one out. The Monarchs went to right-hander Ryne Moore, who immediately threw a wild pitch, allowing Huddleston to come home to score. Tech first baseman Hunter Wells, would then add to lead on an RBI groundout to second, scoring Robinson, and giving Tech a 6-1 lead.

The ‘Dogs added a run in the fifth on a sac fly from Huddleston, before breaking the game open with four runs in the sixth, once again courtesy of Netterville and Bates. Netterville lined a two-run singled through the left side, and then Bates followed up with a two-run double down the left field line, giving Tech a 10-run lead.

Tech reliever Ben Stiglets entered in the eighth for Leal, and pitched the final two innings, allowing two runs on four hits. The right-hander struck out four, and did not walk a batter.

Netterville finished just a triple shy of the cycle, on a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. The freshman drove in four runs, and scored three himself. Bates finished 2-for-2 at the plate, scoring a run and driving in four. The centerfielder also drew three of Tech’s eight walks as a team.

Leadoff man Taylor Young finished 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and two stolen bases. As a team, Tech swiped four bags, and now has 67 on the season.

The Bulldogs and Monarchs return to action on Friday evening at 6 p.m. RHP Matt Miller (4-4, 4.16 ERA) will make the start for Tech, while Old Dominion will go with RHP Hunter Gregory (3-4, 5.96 ERA). Tech will honor its five seniors tomorrow evening, in a pregame ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m.

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